Virgin Atlantic celebrates 25 years in Barbados

Richard Branson with Virgin staff in Barbados.
Photo Credit: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc

Last week, Virgin Atlantic marked the occasion of twenty-five years of direct flight services to Barbados.

In a celebration coinciding with World Tourism Day, the official 25th-anniversary flight arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport with the owner of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, on board.

The arrival was met with a warm and festive welcome led by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley and the Chair of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), Shelly Williams.

A Strong Partnership

“We are thrilled to celebrate 25 years of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to our island. This milestone is a testament to the strong partnership between Virgin Atlantic and Barbados, and it reflects the enduring appeal of our destination to travellers from around the world, said Chair of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), Shelly Williams.

“We look forward to continuing this successful journey together, welcoming visitors to our shores, and showcasing the warmth and beauty of Barbados for many more years to come,” she said.


To commemorate this achievement, a special press conference was held on Tuesday, September 26th at Sea Breeze Hotel, which was attended by key representatives from both Virgin Atlantic and BTMI.

A Virgin Atlantic Airbus in flight with wheels down.
Riik@mctr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

UK Number One Source Market

“Our partnership with Virgin Atlantic has ensured that Barbados is accessible to UK visitors, which is our number one source market. We have tirelessly worked to provide authentic experiences that entice travellers to repeatedly come back to our island,” stated Marsha Alleyne, Chief Product Development Officer.

“That’s why we are very excited to soon welcome Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A330neo to Barbados. This aircraft is designed to provide a premium and personalized experience which we can’t wait for travellers en route to Barbados to enjoy.”

Barbados and Virgin Atlantic’s relationship began in 1998, which has consistently strengthened over the last two decades.

Throughout the years, we have seen an increase in capacity and provision of new fleets which has helped in making Barbados a travel hub for the Eastern Caribbean.

“As we know many of the flight connections are very limited between the Eastern Caribbean, so we are excited to be offering reliable services to Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“We firmly believe that offering these local multi-island options will further boost the Barbados economy as well. We’ve been here for 25 years and can’t wait to build the next 25 years on this beautiful island,” stated Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Järvinen.

A Premier Tourist Destination

Today, the airline provides year-round daily services to Barbados from London, Heathrow with a capacity of 264 seats and an upper-class capacity that has increased from 16 seats to 31 seats. The airline also offers flights three times weekly from Manchester.

Virgin Atlantic and BTMI have consistently worked together to promote Barbados as a premier tourist destination, offering travellers world-class service, picturesque landscapes, and unforgettable experiences.

As the celebration continues, both organizations are excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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